24th June 2021
In a bid to boost tourism following the economic catastrophe caused by the pandemic, the sun-drenched country that is such a favourite with tourists opened its borders to vaccinated tourists from 7th June. The easing of restrictions has also fuelled an increase in demand for contractors in Spain given the greater freedom of movement now afforded to those countries from outside the EU and Schengen Area.
Spain has long been a popular destination for international contractors seeking a life in the sun and a better work-life balance. While the pandemic has had some impact in the last year, the demand for contractor management solutions in Spain is now buoyant, most notably in the country’s pharma sector. But as our own Stefanie Cook, Sales Director at 6CATS International, says, compliance must not be overlooked. “While the spread of the Coronavirus continues to be an issue for contractors seeking work internationally, the news that Spain is allowing greater movement for those who are vaccinated is a promising sign. However, for professionals travelling for work this does add an extra level of compliance administration that cannot be ignored.”
So, what are the latest restrictions for the millions expected to travel to the Iberian country and in particular contractors looking to live and work in Spain?
At the time of writing, travellers from the EU and Schengen Area can enter Spain as long as their home countries have low infection rates. The same applies to a number of non-EU member states, including China, Australia, South Korea and New Zealand, who have a reciprocal agreement with Europe’s fourth largest country. Spain had already abolished restrictions on non-essential travel on 24th May for Japan and the UK.
While you may be able to travel to the destination, there are a number of requirements of visitors entering Spain. First of all, you must fill in a Health Control Form, which can be completed and signed online. A resulting QR code will then have to be presented to authorities upon arrival. Those coming from high risk countries for essential purposes will have to provide evidence of a negative test taken in the last 72 hours. In the case of India, the Spanish government currently requires travellers to quarantine for 10 days. It has also extended its ban on non-essential travel from non-EU countries such as Morocco and Algeria until 30th June.
Demand for contractors in Spain
As for the island destinations, the Canaries also requires a 72 hour negative test but this applies to travellers from all countries. Mallorca, part of the Balearics, also relaxed its restrictions as of 9th May and will be open to tourists this summer, although masks must be worn at all times. Despite the lifting of restrictions, once in Spain visitors will have to adhere to government guidelines. Visitor numbers to museums, exhibitions, galleries, concerts and restaurants have been reduced. It is also highly recommended that everyone buys the relevant insurance before travelling for pleasure or work.
As of 7th June, citizens from non-EU countries such as the US will also be able to enter Spain if they’ve received one of the vaccines – such as Pfizer BionNTech, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson – approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or World Health Organisation (WHO) at least 14 days before arrival. All travellers will still need to provide a negative COVID test result. The same requirement applies to those crossing the Spanish-French border.
Anyone travelling from low-risk countries such as Australia and New Zealand will not have to show proof of a recent vaccination or recovery but will still have to fill in a form. Unvaccinated children are also exempt as long as they are travelling with vaccinated parents. Spain still remains on the UK’s orange list so those entering will have to undergo a 10-day quarantine plus testing. This does not apply to Brits travelling to Spain, though.
Such is the popularity of Spain at the moment that some 6,000 tourists arrived at Alicante-Elche airport, which serves the Valencian community and region of Murcia, on the day of the border reopening. Apart from travellers from high risk countries such as India, South Africa and Brazil, the western European country welcomed nearly 12,000 tourists on 123 flights with no added requirements needed other than a COVID vaccine passport. Twenty-four of those flights were between the UK and Spain (both ways).
The need to stay compliant remains
International contractors looking to work in Spain and take advantage of the increase in job opportunities must not allow themselves to become lax about tax compliance if they want to avoid getting in trouble with local authorities. If you have any questions about any tax or legal matters, our 6CATS International experts can help.